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There's a new sheriff (deputy) in town

Sgt. Martinez takes over substation

Sergeant Peter Martinez, the new officer in charge of the Kern County Sheriff's Department's Wasco substation, envisions the substation will be able to respond and reduce the increase in crime in the area reported over the past year.

"I believe that visible law enforcement is one of the most effective ways to help eliminate or reduce the amount of criminal activity in a community," he said in an interview this week. "I am going to make sure the patrol staff is out and about in the community, patrolling the streets and/or making positive community contact." Martinez said he is encouraging the community members to stop and talk with deputies about criminal activity expressing their concerns.

"With the community and law enforcement working together, we should see the amount of criminal activity decrease," Martinez said.

According to Martinez, his department is currently investigating the ages of those charged and/or arrested and will come up with additional information that could lead the sheriff's office to focus their efforts.

Martinez has been a familiar face around Wasco for several years, prior to replacing former Sergeant Augustine Moreno. He joined the county in 1998 as a reserve deputy sheriff.

"I became a full-time sheriff's deputy in 2000 and was a reserve police officer with the Ridgecrest Police Department from 1993-1998," Martinez said. "After completing the Sheriff's Academy in Bakersfield and completing the field taining program, I was assigned to the Rosamond substation."

Martinez spent two years in Rosamond, and since then has been a metro patrol deputy, field training officer and senior deputy. "On Aug. 17, 2019, I was promoted to sergeant and assigned to Wasco city substation," Martinez said. "I am also a SWAT crisis negotiator, as well as a college instructor where I teach emergency vehicle operations, tactical communications and vehicle pullovers."

Martinez was born and educated in Ridgecrest. "I have spent my whole life in Kern County, and I haven't regretted it at all," Martinez said.

He loves coming from a small community and feels people in a small community know each other and are very connected. "You seldom have this type of environment in a larger city," he added.


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